Recent proposals to significantly alter elections in Minnesota have raised concerns from advocates of free and fair elections. Adherents of good governance in Minnesota have addressed that anything but bi-partisan, or non-partisan, fixes to the election laws would bring about a “partisan arms-race”, and thus, honored an unwritten tradition that any legislation must be brought about by a thoughtful and transparent process.
Now, liberal legislators in the Minnesota House of Representatives are pushing a one-sided overhaul that jeopardizes precedent in exchange for political posturing:
“…the ranking Republican on the House elections subcommittee said a bill passed Tuesday night by the [Democrat] House violates the [tradition], since the changes weren’t bipartisan.
‘A lot of it is hyper-partisan,’ said Rep. Jim Nash, R-Waconia, the ranking Republican on the House elections subcommittee. ‘For the last 20 years, election bills have been non-partisan or bipartisan. Under Govs. Ventura, Pawlenty and Dayton, the expectation has been that the elections bill will be completely and utterly nonpartisan.’
Not only will the bill be dead on arrival in the more conservative Senate, but also these changes risk upsetting the long-held tradition of bipartisanship in regards to state election laws. The impetus is clear; liberal legislators understand the importance of drastically changing the electoral landscape in order to gain partisan advantage through undermining election integrity. The House proposal, Bill 1935, would include mandatory voter registration, give voting rights to felons, shift the safeguards over redistricting, and support a national popular vote, effectively ending the Electoral College, among other changes.
Clearly, some “leaders” understand that by giving preference to one party or cause instead of crafting solutions to actually secure our elections, their self-serving interests will be repaid at the expense of the integrity of elections and bi-partisan control of election procedures.